Amazon and Best Buy have both dropped their pricing on the 16GB and 32GB models of HP’s new TouchPad tablet. Amazon customers can now pick up a 16GB model for $489.99 or a 32GB model for $572.65, down from $499.99 and $599.99, respectively. Similarly, Best Buy is now offering the 32GB model for $579.99. We’re not surprised by the price drops. In our recent review of the TouchPad, we said it’s “just good” in its current state and that the original pricing was OK if you had the patience for the tablet. At least now you’ll be able to save a few bucks for the nifty Touchstone charging dock. More →
In my review of the HP TouchPad, which we published last night, I went off on a tangent about the “touch-to-share” functionality Hewlett-Packard introduced with the TouchPad tablet and the Pre 3 smartphone. I think it bears repeating. In a nutshell, touch-to-share allows the user to tap a webOS smartphone to the TouchPad in order to push any URL in an open browser page from one device to the other. I wrote at length about this feature, which is still in its infancy but exhibits tremendous potential. But the real value for touch-to-share goes far beyond the technology itself. The feature is great and HP can take it in a million different directions, but the bigger picture here is that touch-to-share can become an amazing way for HP to differentiate its tablet from the competition in a way that might actually pique consumers’ interest. Tech companies are so concerned with catching up right now that they forgot a very important piece of the puzzle: valuable differentiation. Flash, for example, is not a way for a company to differentiate its products — just ask the senior RIM executive who recently made a plea for RIM to step up its game. Companies are so concerned with pushing media tablets out to market that they’re forgetting to give consumers a reason to buy them over the market leader, the Apple iPad. If an Apple competitor ever wants to see real, long-term success with a tablet line, valuable differentiated features like a mature touch-to-share solution are paramount. With that, hit the break for my thoughts on the technology, as originally seen in our review of the HP TouchPad. More →
It has been exactly 140 days since Hewlett-Packard first unveiled the TouchPad, and I think of it as the first device to emerge from a post-acquisition Palm team that has really been tested over the past few years. To be fair, it will actually be the third webOS device to launch since HP took over Palm, but the the Pre 2 was a leftover from before the deal went through and the Veer never should have been been released. But yes, the Palm team has been through a lot: from botched acquisition talks, to the brink of collapse, to resurrection through Elevation Partners’ investments, to a brilliant new web-based mobile operating system, to the announcement of the phone that would save the business from the brink of collapse, to BGR exclusively reviewing the phone that would save the business from the brink of collapse before any other site on the planet, to the launch of the phone that would save the business from the brink of collapse, to the failure of the phone that would save its business from the brink of collapse, and finally, to HP. Can a company that once lead the industry come back to regain mind share, market share and profit share following a roller coaster ride like that? Hit the break to find out if the TouchPad pushes the company’s mobile business in the right direction or if it is another dud from a company that could be dominating the market.
When Palm first introduced webOS in January 2009 and subsequently launched the Palm Pre, I called the innovative operating system the best thing to happen to smartphones that year. To this day, webOS holds a special place in my heart for taking a novel approach to smartphone operating systems and making it beautiful. It was refreshing, it was capable, and it was not received at all well by consumers. But webOS’ problem was never the software. Perhaps the lack of available apps has been a bit of a hindrance, but I view Palm’s release strategy, its horrible marketing strategy and its sub par hardware as having played the biggest roles in preventing webOS from finding stardom. In terms of hardware, I had high hopes when HP announced it was buying Palm; webOS might finally have a vessel worthy of consumers’ attention. Discounting the Pre 2, which should never have been allowed to ship, the Veer is HP’s first webOS smartphone to reach store shelves. The phone is undoubtedly unique and it features the latest version of the Palm team’s software platform, but is it the vessel webOS needs so desperately? Hit the break for my review of the HP Veer 4G — or, as I have come to call it, the Palmagotchi.
Another piece of the puzzle that is scheduled to take shape next month at HP’s webOS press event looks like it has just been revealed. A render of Palm’s large-form tablet was first seen earlier this month, but this time around there are specs and plenty of details to go along with new renders and slides. Codenamed Topaz, this webOS-powered slate will reportedly feature a 9.7-inch 1024 x 768-pixel oil and scratch-resistant display, a 1.2GHz processor, an Adreno 220 graphics processor, 512MB of DDR2 RAM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a front-facing camera for video chat, integrated Beats audio and two 3,150 mAh batteries that should deliver 8 hours of usage. HP will reportedly launch a Wi-Fi-only version of the Topaz initially, but 3G and 4G versions will follow soon after — obviously. More →
Aaannnddd it’s official. AT&T has just announced through its Facebook page that it will be carrying the Palm Pre Plus starting May 16th. Want in? That’ll be $149.99 on a 2-year contract, please. Too much money? Okay. What if we told you AT&T will throw in a free Touchstone charger? No? Didn’t think so. Next! More →
Hot off the heels of its last webOS phone, Palm has just announced the Pixi, or what was formerly referred to by us (apparently not as cool as Palm staffers) as the Eos, and it will be cozying up to its big brother, the Pre, on Sprint’s shores. It’s a tad bit smaller all around, but that’s to be expected since the device has its keyboard and a 2.63″ touchscreen on the face. The Pixi sports dual-band CDMA and EV-DO Rev A for some speedy Sprint goodness but there’s unfortunately no Wi-Fi. It also has everything you’ve come to expect from a modern-day phone: 3.5mm headset jack, 2 megapixel camera with flash, email/IM support, GPS and 8GB of internal memory. And last but not least, there’s no need to worry — the Pixi also gets some wireless charging love with support for Palm’s Touchstone charging dock. Are you holding your breath or passing on this one?
Not to get too in-ya-face about it, but man… we knocked this crap out the park. One of our ninjas hit us up last night and gave us the heads up on this information. As predicted, Palm has just gone ahead and announced the Palm Pre release date and pricing information for the device’s debut on Sprint. It’s $199.99 after a $100 MIR on a 2-year agreement (copying Apple, much?) and will indeed be released on Saturday June 6th online and in Sprint stores in addition to Best Buy, Radio Shack and Wal-Mart. Oh, and in case you’re dying to blow some cash on some Pre accessories, the Touchstone Charging Kit goes on sale the same day for $69.99 and will comes with the Touchstone charging dock and battery cover. A bit steep, but it’s not like we expected it to be anything but.
Happy? Irate? Holding out for the Tour? We wanna know.
Just a few days ago, the Best Buy inventory system was updated to include Palm Pre accessories, one being the inductive touchstone charger. The charger was curiously listed with a May 10th, 2009 in stock date which cast some doubt on the authenticity and reliability of the information. Pre fans can all breathe a sigh of relief however, as the Best Buy inventory system has been updated to reflect a new in stock date for the touchstone charger – the now-familiar June 7th, 2009. Either someone within the Best Buy system is playing with us all or June 7th is indeed likely scheduled as the launch date for Palm Pre. We are hoping for the latter as Sprint and Palm need to get this phone out the door soon.
While there is a rumor that there is a lot more to Palm’s Touchstone line than just an inductive charger, a few accessories for Palm’s upcoming Pre have surfaced in Best Buy’s inventory system. While the picture does not show the actual pricing, the source claims that the Touchstone charging dock is listed at $69.99 (which jibes with previous rumors). He also states that there are currently five cases in the system, including one aptly labeled “Palm Pre case” and three made of acrylic and one of leather. Of particular interest is the fact that the picture shows an in stock date of May 10th which means either: 1) Best Buy knows something that Palm doesn’t, 2) Best Buy is getting some accessories nearly a month early, or 3) we’ve all been had. Then again, perhaps we’re all just a little too cynical because of giant shroud of secrecy that has been thrust upon the Pre. Either way, we want it and we want it now.
Every so often an interesting story surfaces that has regrettably been passed over. One such story is the case of the Palm Touchstone, the wireless charging dock for the upcoming Palm Pre. During CTIA, tnkgrl was getting briefed on the Pre by a Palm marketing manager when he let it slip that the Touchstone is not just a wireless charger but is also the name of a whole series of products and accessories for the Pre. What makes this interesting is that the name Touchstone alone implies that the rest of the series in the Touchstone line-up will feature inductive technology. So what can we expect to see — a USB dock, TV-out dock, stereo speakers, car kits? Who knows, but for now we’re pretty satisfied with reverting to a childlike state of imagination.
So, check it. There’s something called the Palm Pre. We linked up with our friendly Palm rep, and he gave us a walkthrough of some of the brand new third party applications. Things like Pandora, Sprint TV, Palm’s Classic OS emulator, and Flight View all got shown off on Palm’s sexy Pre hardware. We also got a brief hardware walkthrough too, just for you guys.
That’s all we got for now, but hopefully the video quenches your thirst for some Pre hotness!